How I deal with noises while eating with others, and can enjoy the time well as an HSP

Sitting at a table with people can be exhausting. When it comes to relatives, like husband, wife, parents, siblings, or others can add one more spice to make it almost impossible to stay calm, enjoy the food, or having a good time in general at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Why? Because we as HSPs can not only hear every sound of biting, dishes touching dishes, and people talking like there’s no tomorrow.

How to deal with someone chewing loudly

So, what kind of solutions for situations like those are “on the table”? There are quite a few options, and each one can be a better match, depending on the individual situation.

Background music helps distracting the mind

First of all you can create a nice atmosphere with background music, dimmed light, or even candles. It adds a layer of comforting sounds above the annoying noises. Of course, this is only possible when you are at home, and the others are fine with that, too. Classical music with an orchestra can do wonders, so you can also focus your hearing on the nice melodies. All other sounds could even be perceived as part of the song in the best circumstances.

Reducing chewing sounds with brown noise, white noise, or pink noise

I tried another solution, where I put my headphones in a way that I can still hear the people talking. This can be funny, and is also only possible in some scenarios, depending on the people and the location. When I do this, I choose constant calming sounds like brown noise, white noise, or pink noise. Rain sounds can also be a good choice. It’s scientifically proven, that rain and thunder recordings can make you more calm. And it makes sense: when there’s a strong rain going, predators are less likely to go hunting.

Fighting back with my own chewing sounds

When it comes to chewing sounds, my best solution is “attacking back” by making my own chewing sounds. This works temporarily, and can be quite an effort and adjustment in the own eating behaviour. Some people are also just not aware of the noises they make, and there are ways to politely tell them, especially when it’s people who care and understand, like own parents. Some of these creatures can be trained very well to eat a bit more silently, actually!

Leaving the table for a bit while being social and polite

One more trick I use occasionally, is to leave the table for a bit. This can be done with excuses, and these excuses can even increase the social atmosphere. “I’m getting more butter from the fridge, does anyone want anything from the kitchen?”, or a simple “I need to go to the bathroom and be right back. Anyone wants anything from the kitchen? It’s on the way anyways!”. There are many ways to be creative with this. Telling them you need a silent break can be a way to do it as well, when the others know about your trait and respect this. Still, it can bring the HSP topic to the table and sometimes we wish not to talk about it again.

Special earplugs reducing a selected range of frequencies

Using tools can also be a strategy. There are earplugs that only cut out a specific range of frequencies, the annoying range of sounds. While these can help at almost any situation, inside the house and outdoors, this works especially well with munching sounds, at least for me.

I hope some of these strategies to deal with noises at dinner, lunch, or breakfast can improve your life’s quality.

Do you know any other solutions? Feel free to comment below, or add them to the database at HSPdb:

We can also discuss the topic on Facebook!

Thank you for reading my article. I hope it increases your life’s quality! 🙂

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